I was sending a parcel to a loved one, who lives abroad, ready for her daughter's birthday. I had packed up some lovely clothes, but I wanted something a little more personal. She is always frustrated by the lack of variety in clothes, especially for little girls, and likes her daughters to have brightly coloured garments that reflect their interests, rather than the typical pale pink. I have skyped with them all quite a lot, but have only met the littlest one once.
I bought a pack of 3 babygrows (I looked all over for Fairtrade but couldn't find them - does anyone know where to get plain Fairtrade babygrows?) I washed them and dried them, and then used Giotto fabric pens - by the way, I'm not trying to flog these pens - it's just they are the only decent type available within 20 miles!
They are a brush tip, iron-to-set fabric pen, and they work just like a normal, good quality felt tip marker would, except obviously they stay put when washed. I found that they lay down quite a bit of ink and blend easily - but I am sure other brands work brilliantly too. I would stay well away from Dylon pens though. Their home dyes - especially washing machine ones - have always been fab, but I found their pens were dry and useless, running out very quickly - and they were somewhat pricey as well.
When littlest came to stay with her mummy and older sister, she was already
showing a great personality and letting us know her tastes, despite her
lack of years! She simply loves fruit - especially strawberries - so I
had a clear idea for my first design!
I slid a piece of card inside the babygrow to protect the back from ink transfer, then drew the outlines using the black pen, as well as the writing underneath. I then highlighted the neck and sleeves with complimentary bright colours to make them look a bit more interesting. I was really pleased with the look when complete.
The next thing she really enjoyed was sitting with her mummy in the garden, watching our chickens scratch and play in their little run. She sat there for half an hour, giggling and pointing, listening to her mummy talk about the chickens. She enjoyed looking at all our animals, but was especially fascinated by our hens. As I am used to drawing animals, I thought this would be a great theme for the second one. Again, I picked out the red colour from the main image to pick out the sleeves and neckline.
Finally, I am afraid I went with family tradition, and opted for a terrible pun. Littlest really enjoyed fresh fruit and veg while she was staying, and I thought some carrots might be the order of the day - and I thought it might be really cute to create something for the '24 carat baby' she is....
Again, I drew the outlines, let them dry and then filled in the colour. This time, I used orange, yellow and green to complement the design.
I then ironed them all to fix the images, and washed and dried them again, before pressing them ready to send. These were so quick and easy to make - and don't have to feature picture perfect images. The brightly coloured inks do seem to be reasonably tolerant to being washed.
As white babygrows are available reasonably cheaply - way cheaper than those with cute images - and the pens (around £5-£9 a pack depending where you get them) would be enough to decorate a lot of babygrows, this could be a fun way to make something special for a baby, maybe even a project kids could get involved in to welcome a new arrival!
I look forward to reading about more of your projects soon :)